Howard County Greens Weblog

The Green Party Local in Howard County, Maryland.

02 March 2006

Town Meeting with Delegate Liz Bobo

Just returned from the town meeting held by Liz Bobo at Kahler Hall this evening.

Most of the attention was given to the development plan in downtown Columbia, and unfortunately I was late enough to miss that part...but the clear message is that Del. Bobo is trying to mobilize public opinion concerning the new plan and is encouraging people to speak out about it. I felt that she and the Greens were very much on the same page, as were many of the people in attendance - there were numerous concerns voiced about greenspace (and its possible disappearance) in our city.

There were some disappointments. My question was whether she would sponsor an Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) bill in the House now that Sen. Pinsky's bill was killed in committee; she responded that with five weeks to go in the House of Delegates' session, she would not. The consensus among the few pro-IRV Democrats who asked me about it was that this was a bill that should be attempted next session, as Sen. Pinsky has for several sessions now. (Enacting IRV bills locally, as was accomplished in Takoma Park last year, is another option.)

Another was that Bobo expressed that she did not believe that there should be any more municipalities in Howard County - an opinion on the incorporation of Columbia, which is an important plank in the HCGP platform.

Several candidates were present, all of them Democrats: Frank Aquino and Mary Ellen Giles for school board, Ken Ulman and Harry Dunbar for County Executive, Joshua Feldmark for county council. I had a chance to speak to almost all of them; some seemed interested in the opinions of Greens. Of course, the preference would be to run our own candidates and get them elected, to show what we could do in office. When Greens prove themselves in local office, Americans will remember their contribution as they seek higher office.

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